My Summary. On the eve of her twelfth birthday, Igraine of Pimpernel Castle dreams of being a brave and noble knight. Unfortunately, her parents and brother are magicians and don't fully understand her passion. Nevertheless, they are indulgent, and Igraine has been able to spend some time practicing her sword fighting with a magical strawman. She has even sneaked over to a neighboring castle to ride a steed worthy of a knight.
Igraine may get her wish of becoming a knight, but not in the manner in which she had always dreamed. A nearby castle has been taken over by a evil magician who is supported by his invincible protector. They plan to attack Igraine's home and steal her parents' magic books. Normally this wouldn't be a problem because the spells protecting Pimpernel Castle are strong. But as luck would have it, Igraine's parents bungle an incantation at just the wrong moment. They turn to their young daughter, who must now slip past the enemy and venture into the forest to find the one thing that will save their home.
My Thoughts. First, I have to admit that I picked up the audio version of Igraine the Brave because it was short and was available as a digital download from my library. I had forgotten that the Cornelia Funke challenge ends tomorrow, and I was running out of time to start and finish the last book by the deadline. The good news is that this is an utterly charming tale of knights, giants, magicians, and dragons.
The book is written for a bit younger audience than I'm used to, but there is much to like about the story. Most important is the way our hero is depicted. Igraine is just twelve years old, but she is strong willed, kind, and brave. Her character is also fairly realistic in the sense that she squabbles with her brother, doesn't always listen to her parents, and needs the help of adults. The principal message of the story is that the characteristics that make up a true knight are not gender limited or determined by age. This would be a perfect book for a fourth- or fifth-grade girl.
The rest of us, including young boys, will enjoy getting to know the assorted characters and accompanying Igraine on her adventures.
The audio was narrated by Xanthe Elbrick, who did an excellent job with pacing and differentiating among the characters. The inflections used for the spirited Igraine is as believable as those used for the male adults. A look at some of the commercial websites revealed that the book is illustrated with many small pen and ink drawings. I think they would have added to the joy of reading this quick tale.
I read this book for a number of challenges (listed below). To learn more about a challenge and to see what others are reading, click on the title in the sidebar.
Paperback published by Scholastic, 2007
Challenges: Cornelia Funke, A-Z Title, 999, Support Your Library, Audiobooks, 100+